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  1. #1

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    Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    Dec. 09, 2005

    'Hoodwinked' success illustrates indie trend
    By Gregg Goldstein The Hollywood Reporter

    New York -- Powerhouse computer-generated imagery houses like Pixar Animation Studios dominate the animated genre, but less expensive technology and outsourcing to low-cost foreign animators is opening the door for indies to acquire, produce and place CGI-animated films in theaters themselves.

    Lions Gate, for example, will release Threshold Entertainment's $50 million-$60 million CGI adventure "Foodfight!" in fall 2006, and it recently announced a three-film co-production/co-financing pact with RichCrest Animation that includes the CGI fantasy "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble." And IDT Entertainment has pacted with 20th Century Fox for four CGI films in the $30 million-$40 million range over the next two years.

    "Hoodwinked" stands out among the new wave of CGI-animated indies. The Weinstein Co. has scheduled a Jan. 13 wide release of Cory Edwards' irreverent, witty and musical take on the Little Red Riding Hood story retold as a comic police investigation. The movie also is eligible for this year's best animated film Oscar.

    Just how this fairy tale arrived in theaters illustrates the changing animation scene. Edwards, who has made animated shorts as well as the 45-minute Christmas-themed DVD "Wobots," met Skyy Vodka founder and wealthy inventor Maurice Kanbar in 1999 at Sundance, where the director's brother Todd Edwards was showing his live-action comedy "Chillicothe." A year later, the two Edwards brothers (founding partners in Blue Yonder Films with "Hoodwinked" producer Preston Stutzman) pitched Kanbar on several projects the financier felt were too risky. Instead, Kanbar asked them to bring him a fairy tale with broad appeal, saying, "I know they've got legs."

    Although Kanbar first envisioned either a DVD or a limited 150-screen theatrical release, the project grew -- along with his initial $5 million investment -- after he read the script, a "Rashomon"-style mystery take on the fairy tale that includes nine musical numbers written by Todd Edwards, who co-directed and co-wrote the script with Tony Leech.

    Kanbar, who has since established Kanbar Prods. with Walt Disney Feature Animation vet Sue Montgomery ("Lilo & Stitch"), says he invested $35 million (including prints and advertising) in the film, budgeted in the $15 million-$20 million range. The secret to keeping costs low, Edwards says, was bringing in producer David K. Lundgren, who had ties to animators in the Philippines.

    "The cost of living and salaries is about a third what it is here," says Edwards, who made 15 long trips to the country during the film's 2 1/2-year production. The final animation phase moved to India in order to polish the work-in-progress for this year's Festival de Cannes.

    After several studios passed, unsure how to market the movie's adult humor, the still-developing Weinstein Co. took notice and in May acquired theatrical and video rights to North America, the U.K., Germany and other international markets.

    The Weinstein Co. brought Anne Hathaway and Glenn Close on board to voice Red and Granny, respectively, joining original cast voices Patrick Warburton, David Odgen Stiers and Andy Dick. A sequel already is in the planning stages, with Weinstein Co. and Kanbar co-financing.

    Indie animation is nothing new, of course; Ralph Bakshi's landmark X-rated "Fritz the Cat" was a huge hit in 1972. And Edwards is fully aware his film is, like Bakshi's early efforts, a bit rough around the edges. But with technology advancing and costs lowering, "Hoodwinked" could be a bellwether of homemade CGI-animated films to come.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  2. #2

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    i saw the trailer for this when we saw "chicken little" and man, did it look shi**y. the quality looks like it was made for TV or straight-to-video.
    <o>

  3. #3

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    Agreed!
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  4. #4

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    from the Hollywood Reporter

    Dec. 16, 2005

    Hoodwinked
    By Michael Rechtshaffen



    Bottom line: This fractured CGI fairy tale comes up short in the goodies department.
    A satirical take on "Little Red Riding Hood," the computer-animated "Hoodwinked" occupies some considerably shaky turf situated uncomfortably between "Shrek" and dreck.

    Despite attracting a name voice cast including Glenn Close, Jim Belushi and Anne Hathaway, this first effort from Kanbar Animation, a venture formed by Skyy Vodka inventor Maurice Kanbar and animation veteran Sue Bea Montgomery, gets hopelessly lost in the woods.

    Hampered by a comedic tone that's too one-note to sustain a feature-length format and less than fluid digital animation, this Weinstein Co. release, which opens today in Los Angeles and goes wide Jan. 13, will unlikely have a fairy-tale ending at the boxoffice.

    Writers Cory Edwards (who also directs), Todd Edwards and Tony Leech take a Rashomon approach to the Girl N the Hood story, turning Grandma's home invasion into a crime scene investigation.

    No babe in the woods, Red (voiced by Hathaway), is now a martial arts expert, Granny (Close) prefers participating in extreme sports to knitting, the Wolf (Patrick Warburton) is a glib investigative journalist and the Woodsman (Belushi) is a dim-witted struggling actor.

    Assigned to the case is the debonair, amphibious detective Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers), accompanied by police chief Grizzly (Xzibit) and police officer Bill Stork (Anthony Anderson), but while their attempts to learn the identity of the perp known as the Goody Bandit yield intermittent bits of comic inspiration, it all starts growing tired long before the happily ever after part.

    It's the kind of thing that would have been right at home as a Fractured Fairy Tale segment in the old "Rocky & Bullwinkle" cartoons (there's also the 1955 seven-minute Looney Tunes short, "Red Riding Hoodwinked") but at 81 minutes, with pacing that's all over the place, the production simply doesn't add up to a basket of laughs.

    Not helping matters is the cost-effective but jerky CGI and bland '70s-style songs by Edwards which don't exactly blend neatly with John Mark Painter's '80s electronic Harold Faltermeyer tribute score.

    Hoodwinked
    The Weinstein Co.
    The Weinstein Co. and Kanbar Entertainment present a Kanbar Entertainment production in association with Kanbar Animation
    Credits:
    Director: Cory Edwards
    Screenwriters: Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, Tony Leech
    Story: Todd Edwards, Cory Edwards
    Producers: Maurice Kanbar, Sue Bea Montgomery, Preston Stutzman, David K. Lovegren
    Editor: Tony Leech
    Music: John Mark Painter
    Songs: Todd Edwards
    Voices:
    Red: Anne Hathaway
    Granny: Glenn Close
    The Woodsman: Jim Belushi
    The Wolf: Patrick Warburton
    Detective Bill Stork: Anthony Anderson
    Nicky Flippers: David Ogden Stiers
    Chief Grizzly: Xzibit
    Woolworth: Chazz Palminteri
    Boingo: Andy Dick
    MPAA rating PG-13
    Running time -- 81 minutes
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  5. #5

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    Nick to Sneak 5 Minutes of Hoodwinked
    Source: The Weinstein Company
    January 10, 2006


    Nickelodeon and The Weinstein Company announced today that on Thursday, January 12th at 8pm, Nickelodeon will air the first 5 minutes of the new CGI animated family film Hoodwinked featuring voiceovers by Glenn Close, Jim Belushi, Anne Hathaway, Anthony Anderson, Patrick Warburton, Andy Dick, Xzibit and many more. Hoodwinked will be released in theaters nationwide the day after the sneak preview on Friday, January 13th, 2006.

    In this re-telling of the classic fable of Little Red Riding Hood, the story begins at the end, and there's more to the tale than meets the eye. Furry and feathered cops from the animal world investigate a domestic disturbance at Granny's cottage, involving a karate-kicking Red, a sarcastic Wolf, an oafish Woodsman and a thrill-seeking Granny. The charges are many: breaking and entering, disturbing the peace, intent to eat and wielding an axe without a license. Not to mention, this case might be tied to the elusive "Goody Bandit" who has been stealing from shops everywhere.

    The last film that Nickelodeon did a sneak preview for was Wallace & Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit in October, 2005.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  6. #6

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    I actually thought it looked funny ... until now.

    Thanks.


  7. #7

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    The commercial was enough to sell me on NOT seeing this film. It's a sort of grab-bag for tired stereotypes.

    Let's see... we have the "surprisingly" hip granny, the sarcastic simpleton in an afro (frankly I'm surprised we haven't heard from the ACLU on that one!), the girl who manages to appear helpless and feminine despite being a butt-kicking harda$$, plus what appears to be a ready supply of the same tired sarcstic humor found in every cartoon produced in the last decade and a half... what's not to hate?

    It's like... "Poochie: The Movie".

    I'll keep my $10, thanks.
    Last edited by Morrigoon; 01-10-2006 at 07:11 PM.

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  8. #8

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    I don't know ... I Kind of liked the Dee-na-meet-eh guy.


  9. #9

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    Hoodwinked Sequel Details Revealed
    Source: Variety
    January 18, 2006


    The Weinstein Company and Kanbar Entertainment are teaming on a sequel to their current CG-animated release Hoodwinked, to be titled Hood vs. Evil. Hoodwinked finished a hair behind Disney's Glory Road for the four-day holiday weekend.

    Harvey Weinstein said the producers will double the budget of the first film (less than $20 million) to improve the animation in the sequel.

    Hood vs. Evil will find a teen Red training in a distant land with a mysterious, covert group called Sisters of the Hood. She is then called upon by Nicky Flippers -- head of the Happily Ever After Agency -- who teams her with the Wolf to investigate the disappearance of Hansel and Gretel. The character of Granny, and the rest of the "Hoodwinked" gang, also return and are joined by new characters.

    Hoodwinked includes the voice talent of Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Jim Belushi, Patrick Warburton, Anthony Anderson and rapper Xzibit. Producer Maurice Kanbar said he expects most of the cast to return.

    The sequel is being written and directed by Hoodwinked creative trio Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards and Tony Leech.

    Weinstein added that he sees the franchise potentially going for two additional films
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  10. #10

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    I personally think, you have to give the Wienstiens a lot of credit to try and do this... And it makes sense for him to go this route...

    After all he does sit on the board of Six Flags...

    Ironically, it is stealing the thunder of Dreamworks...
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  11. #11

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    My kids went to see it with my father-in-law the other day and the kids really loved the movie. My ten year old and my seven year old said it was funnier than Shrek, but not as funny as Shrek 2. My five year old said it wasn't as good as either Shrek, but she thought it was really funny.

    Now I'm curious...not about Hoodwinked, but why my kids thought Shrek 2 was funnier than Shrek!?!

  12. #12

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    Re: Hoodwinked from The Weinsteins

    I saw the film on Monday with the kids, my dad & step-mom. We all enjoyed the film. There were funny points, but it did seem a bit long some places, and a bit short in others. The cliches jokes were aplenty. Those were the most annoying.

    Anne Hathaway, in an attempt to use a cartoony voice ended up having a voice that changed several times through the film. The only times the voice was identifiaable, she sounded like Janeane Garaffolo (sp.).

    I know that animation has been overseas for a long time, but I still find it sad that jobs are being taken out of Hollywood. If pitted against a Pixar film, I would say that Hoodwinked is like the "Made for Saturday Morning" version of any one of the Pixar films, stylistically speaking.

    There were no real innovations to be seen in the film in terms of the new textures, techniques, which is something I have always looked for when watching Pixar films.

    I only compare to Pixar because I am a little brand loyal. I am not so much a fan of the Shrek franchise. There are the CGIs coming out of Fox too, but I only really associate them with Ice Age.
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